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Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic weekly update for Malvern Seniors

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13th March 2022



Over the last two years we have been keeping an eye on the published government figures and monitoring the media to asses the likely level of risk for Seniors in the Malvern Hills district and providing links to where further information could be found.

Now the worst of the epidemic is over the numbers are of far less importance, but we'll carry on with our blog for a while. Testing is being run down and the public is increasingly not recording the result of Lateral Flow tests so the daily cases reported on the Coronavirus Dashboard grossly underestimate the true situation. Roughly half the deaths reported by PHE are thought be elderly patients who die with COVID but not from it.

The best sources of data are currently:

  • The ONS infection survey

  • Registered deaths

  • NHS hospital bed occupancy, and

  • The Zoe COVID Symptom Study

Note: the future of Zoe is uncertain as UKHSAA plans to stop funding later this month.

For the time being this page will continue to be updated each weekend using Friday's data.



How to get vaccinated

More about vaccinations

Number of cases

Number of deaths

Healthcare numbers

Forecast for the week ahead

Longer term outlook

Advice for seniors


Further information:

How to request a COVID test

About the Zoe COVID symptom study

About the NHS contact tracing app

About the NHS COVID pass

Summary of links

Menu of archived pages


The COVID pandemic has been, and continues to be, a roller coaster ride. In the last week new daily cases have risen quite steeply, COVID bed occupancy has gone up and in consequence COVID deaths can be expected to rise above 100 deaths per day next week. Nevertheless, for the majority in England who have been fully vaccinated life is returning to normal.

The situation may be more complex for the clinically vulnerable who might want to discuss their condition and precautions with either their GP or Specialist. For example it might be desirable to take a Lateral Flow test if feeling unwell and seek antiviral drugs at the earliest opportunity if tested COVID positive.

While the Omicron BA.2 virus remains prevalent there is still a good chance we will all catch COVID-19 at some time or other. It may make us feel very poorly and send us to bed for a few days; and it could take ten days or so for us to recover but,  except for the very frail, we are unlikely to be hospitalised and our resistance to future infection should be bolstered.

COVID hospital Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds are now said to be mostly occupied by those who are not fully vaccinated so make sure to get your booster jab if you have not already done so.

Click to view our advice

Lateral Flow Device kits which only require a nose swab can be used to test for COVID at home. However be aware they are not 100% reliable and you could be infecting others before there is enough virus for the test to show positive. If you are feeling poorly and test negative consider testing again a day or two later if symptoms persist.

Note: the government is discontinuing the supply of free Lateral Flow Tests on 1st April so you may want to stock up.

A local summary of COVID data can be found on the Worcestershire Coronavirus Dashboard. Deaths are on page 7, and hospital beds on page 9.

Note: use the arrow <> buttons at the bottom of the Dashboard screen to move between pages.

Click for Worcestershire County Council COVID-19 news

Click for Simple Summary of Malvern numbers on the Coronavirus dashboard

Click for the latest UK Government Coronavirus advice

How to get vaccinated

By now we expect most Seniors are fully vaccinated.

Those aged 5 - 11 years can in principle be offered the vaccine but it sounds like the rollout  could be delayed.

All those aged 16+ years can book a booster 3 months after their second dose.

Click NHS link - Who can get a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine

For information about walk-in centres in Worcestershire go to the website:


and click the Vaccine Rollout tab at the top of the page.

Click for information about vaccination at the Three Counties Showground

Otherwise either see the NHS website for walk-in opening times and vaccine availability:


Or click this link for more information and to book a vaccination on-line:

Book a Coronavirus vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Or talk to your GP.

Note: the immuno-compromised may be offered a third jab as part of their primary course, followed by a booster 3 months later.

More about vaccinations

The Omicron variants of COVID-19 is highly infectious and still widespread in the community so all of us are likely to catch it at some time or other - it can make you 'very poorly' so it is essential to get your booster jab if you have not already had it.


 Our bar chart below shows the total number of:

  1. first jabs;

  2. second jabs;

  3. booster and third jabs;

  4. for comparison, the population of the UK broken down by age band.


COVID vaccination bar chart

Vaccinometer as of 11th March 2022

People are still coming forward to be vaccinated, but the rate is so slow expect to see little change to this chart during 2022.

Vaccination statistics can be found on the Vaccination tab of the Coronavirus Dashboard.

Booster jabs

The government says everyone aged 18+ years has been offered a booster jab. To date about 49M have had two doses, and 38M booster doses have been administered, suggesting 11M still to boost in the UK; but those under 16 years are not yet eligible so there are probably 6M people still to get their booster.

Protection against hospitalisation

The UKHSAA COVID-19 vaccine surveillance reports indicate the likely effectiveness of the vaccines. To quote:

Two doses of either AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccines was associated with a vaccine effectiveness of only 25 to 35% against hospitalisation following infection with the Omicron variant, after 25+ weeks.

After a Pfizer booster, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation started at around 90% dropping to around 75% after 10 to 14 weeks.

After a Moderna booster, vaccine effectiveness against hospitalisation was 90 to 95% up to 9 weeks after vaccination.

Click for UKHSA COVID-19 vaccine surveillance report Week 9, 3rd March 2022


Effectiveness against mortality

The protection offered by the vaccines against death is less clear to us, but our reading of the report is that if you are taken into hospital and have had only 2 jabs there is a 50% chance you might die compared to the unvaccinated. However after a Booster the risk is reduced to 1 in 8.


Vaccinations Worldwide

A chart of the worldwide vaccination situation can be found on the Our World in Data website.

Click for worldwide statistics

Hint: click the country list on the left hand side of the screen to add or remove countries from the chart.

Orange triangleNumber of cases

There are three sources reporting the prevalence of COVID-19 in the UK.

  • The ONS which conducts a random survey by collecting nose and throat swabs from the public for PCR tests, and analysis for variants.

  • The ZOE COVID symptom study, whereby participating members of the public log their symptoms, tests and vaccines.

  • PHE data gathered from PCR testing and Lateral Flow Tests reported by the public, which currently underestimates infections.

All point to the prevalence of COVID rising this week.

ONS infection survey

The latest ONS infection survey suggests the prevalence of COVID-19 has increased with about 1 in 25 testing COVID positive in England.

ONS estimates that 2,073,900 people in England had COVID-19 in the week ending 5th March 2022.

Click for Coronavirus (COVID-19) Infection Survey, UK: 11th March 2022

Date published Prevalence (England) Ratio of people with COVID
26th February 2022 1,933,500 1:30
11th March 2022 2,073,900 1:25

Prevalence of COVID-19 in England estimated by ONS

Zoe COVID Symptom study

The ZOE COVID Symptom Study predicts 2,274,782 people  have symptomatic COVID in the UK and estimates 196,000 new cases per day compared to 149,000 last week, a rise of 31% in new cases per day.

  Prevalence Estimated new cases per day
Last week 2,180,517 149,000
This week 2,274,782 196,000

Prevalence of COVID-19 in UK estimated by Zoe COVID Symptom Study

Numbers testing COVID positive in Worcestershire (PHE)

The breakdown of those testing COVID positive by Worcestershire Lower Tier Local Authorities (LTLA) is shown in the following table, together with comparisons for Herefordshire, a more sparsely populated county, and the city of Leicester.

Note: the cumulative cases are copied from the 'Cases by area' (whole pandemic) data set of the Coronavirus Dashboard. The weekly increase is the difference between this week and last week's total.

Districts of Worcs Number testing positive Weekly increase Population
Bromsgrove 29,714 +500 98,529
Malvern Hills 16,681 +534 77,545
Redditch 25,985 +396 85,317
Worcester 29,328 +583 103,542
Wychavon 32,546 +788 126,240
Wyre Forest 27.083 +460 100,957
TOTAL 161,337 +3,261 592,130
County of Hereford 44,344 +1,124 195,000
Leicester (city of) 112,955 +999 400,000

Cumulative cases reported by PHE in Worcestershire to 11th March 2022

Note: the weekly increase is indicative; the seven day average by area, which varies day to day, is an alternative metric that can be found on the Coronavirus dashboard.

The main point to note is that cases have risen by 50% in the last week.

 Actual infections could be four times the number testing COVID positive.

Cases are especially high in the Malvern Hills, city of Worcester and Wychavon (Pershore). The infection rate per head in the Malvern Hills is now more than double that in the city of Leicester; this may be because people in Leicester have built up more immunity from previous infections and we are playing catch up.

Cases in Malvern Hills by age group

Cases in the 60+ group are now similar to those in the under 60 group and rising.

Click for cases by specimen date age demographics in the Malvern Hills

Interactive maps

At the bottom of the Coronavirus Dashboard (daily update) page there is an Interactive Map which is coloured to show infection rates across the country. Strangely cases are once again rising in Scotland where there are more controls.

Click for Interactive Map of COVID cases

Note: the Interactive Map works on desktop PCs but it's possible you may encounter difficulties using a tablet or smartphone.

Recent weekly COVID positive tests to 6th March are: North Malvern 60; Malvern Link 28; Pickersleigh 22; Barnards Green 39; Malvern Wells and Priory 31; Callow End and Hanley 23; Upton and Welland 34.

Another map can be found on the Zoe COVID Study website indicating extrapolated cases based on reports from those using the Zoe app.

Click for People with COVID (estimated from the Zoe app)

Number of deaths

Statistics on COVID deaths are published by Public Health England, The Office of National Statistics, and NHS England. These can't be directly compared as  they cover different periods, but together the figures paint a picture of the direction of travel.

The UK daily death rate has been going down but it's possible it has reached a minimum and will rise during the remainder of March and April if cases continue to increase.

TrianglePHE figures

Public Health England reports there were 730 COVID (28) deaths in UK hospitals and care homes in the last week bringing the cumulative total to 162,738 (including deaths linked to repeat infections), with the daily average flat-lining at about 104 deaths per day.

In comparison averaged over recent years 1,700 people die daily from all causes.

 Click to view the UK government Coronavirus Dashboard

Note: in roughly half the cases recently reported by PHE it is thought COVID-19 might not be the underlying cause of death.

ONS figures

The Office of National Statistics (ONS) reports registered deaths in England and Wales where COVID-19 is mentioned somewhere on the death certificate. The ONS figures lag the PHE figures by 10 - 14 days and do not include Northern Ireland and Scotland.

Click for national ONS data on deaths (Excel spreadsheet)

The ONS figures are broken down by District providing a glimpse of where deaths are occurring. The provisional cumulative total of COVID related deaths in Worcestershire reported by the ONS up to 18th February (week 7 of 2022) is shown below.

Note: the numbers are from the ONS Death Registrations-Pivot table

Districts of
Week 7 Population
Bromsgrove 164 142 14 2 98,529
Malvern Hills 61 98 7 0 77,545
Redditch 108 109 11 2 85,317
Worcester 87 134 11 1 103,542
Wychavon 157 154 13 3 126,240
Wyre Forest 171 132 14 3 100,957
TOTAL 748 769 70 11 592,130

Provisional cumulative COVID-19 deaths in Worcestershire registered by ONS to 18th February 2022

Note: summation of rows 9 to 339 of the ONS deaths Registrations-Pivot table.

There was 1 death in a care home and 1 in hospital in Bromsgrove; 2 deaths in hospital in Redditch; 1 death in hospital in the city of Worcester; 1 death in a care home and 2 in hospital in Wychavon; and 2 deaths at home and 1 in hospital in Wyre Forest.

In England and Wales 861 COVID-19 related deaths were reported in the week to 18th February, 204 less than the week before, a fall of 9%. Of these 176 were in a care home, 84 at home, 24 in a hospice, 570 in hospital and 7 elsewhere.

Click for ONS Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest insights: Deaths

NHS England figures for Worcestershire

The table below shows latest COVID deaths in Worcestershire hospitals reported by NHS England on 11th March 2022.

Worcestershire Cumulative deaths Past week
Acute hospitals 976 10
Care hospitals 68 0
TOTAL 1,044 10

Click for NHS COVID-19 total announced deaths

Note: look for COVID Total announced deaths sheet, then select tab Deaths by Trust

Risk of COVID-19 death by age band (Delta and Omicron)

NHS England provides an analysis of COVID-19 deaths in hospital in England and Wales by age band. Shown below is a snapshot of 3,971 recent deaths for the period 7th January 2022 to 3rd February 2022.

During this period deaths from Delta probably fell while those from Omicron increased. We do not know the exact mix, but there is an indication the risk of death is moving towards those aged 80+ years, who will generally be more frail and have co-morbidities.

Age band Number of COVID deaths % of deaths
0 - 19 11  0.3
20 - 39 43 1
40 - 59 287 7
60 - 79 1,404 35
80+ 2,226 56

Relative risk of COVID-19 death by age band

The latest figures show the risk of death has fallen slightly in those aged 40  to 79 years, rising in those aged 80+.

Those aged 60+ still account for more than 90% of deaths, but remember that due to vaccination the death rate as a proportion of new infections is ten times lower than in 2020.

triangleHealthcare numbers

The UK government Coronavirus Dashboard includes important information about healthcare statistics and NHS bed occupancy.

Hospital COVID cases (UK) Number Change since last week
Patients currently in hospital 11,944 +1,434
Patients on ventilation 253 -11
Patients admitted daily 1,353 +216

Headline summary of patients in hospital reported on 11th March 2022

After a steady fall COVID-19 bed occupancy has begun to go up in response to rising new cases.

Bed numbers by region in England

Tabulated figures for COVID bed occupancy in England can be found on the NHS England website and these give a good indication of direction of travel:

Click for NHS England COVID-19 Hospital bed Activity statistics

Note: see the latest Daily Admissions and Beds spreadsheets, then look for all COVID beds.

Region 4th March 2022 11th March 2022 15th January 2021
England 8,403 9,369 33,362
London 1,529 1,653 7,811
Midlands 1,506 1,582 5,890

Comparison of All beds COVID data for London and Midlands

In the last week the number of COVID-19 General and Acute beds has risen by 11% in England.

For comparison, the number of beds occupied during the peak of the epidemic in January 2021 is shown in red in the right hand column of the table.

Green triangleWorcestershire hospital beds

There were 95 patients in hospital with Coronavirus on 11th March 2022 of which 1 was a ventilated bed. Roughly 35% of the peak experienced last January and 4 more than last week.

Click for Summary of Malvern numbers on the Coronavirus dashboard

This page also reports deaths in the last week.

Deaths in Malvern Hills

Between 5 March 2022 and 11 March 2022, there have been 3 deaths within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test.

Forecast for the week ahead

The number of UK COVID (28) deaths (as recorded by PHE) may increase by up to 770 towards 163,500 during the 7 days ending 18th March 2022, with the average daily death rate hovering around 110.

In the county of Worcestershire, assuming a 0.2% death rate, the 3,261 new cases reported by PHE this week could translate to about 7 deaths per week towards the end of March.

Based on the 30% increase in estimated daily cases reported by Zoe, we expect UK daily hospital admissions to rise from 1,137 to 1,300 patients per day next week, with a pro rata increase in COVID hospital beds.

Longer term outlook

It's difficult to forecast exactly what happens next. We imagine that we have entered the endemic stage of the disease with a high background level of infection, dipping in the summer and rising  in  the winter, modulated by new variants to which we may or may not have less protection. We anticipate more deaths than from Flu in the elderly population and cases of Long COVID causing fatigue in some individuals for many months. Otherwise, we expect the majority of the fully vaccinated population under 60 years to be little affected by COVID-19.

In England it is now a personal decision whether or not to take precautions depending on our own situation and assessment of risk. Some may think it best to ignore protective measures in order quickly to build up herd immunity through natural infection, while the risk averse and clinically vulnerable might be more cautious.

See also summary of links section for UCL and IHME modelling projections.

The latest UCL projection is quote:-

The pandemic appears to be entering an endemic phase, with fluctuations in prevalence every few months. The next (spring) peak in prevalence, of about 3.2%, is anticipated in early May 2022, falling to about 1.3% in the summer, and rising again to about 3.5% in October. This translates into about 60 deaths per day in the summer and 220 deaths per day next winter (in the absence of a more virulent strain).

Click for UCL Long-term forecasting of the COVID-19 epidemic

In the meantime it looks to us as though the COVID death rate has reached a minimum of 100 deaths per day and could rise towards 200 deaths per day in April before dipping in the summer.


Advice for SeniorsCOVID risk medium

We judge the risk of exposure to the Omicron variant still to be very HIGH; see our riskometer opposite.

How this affects you will depend on your vaccination status. UKHSA figures suggest the chance of being hospitalised some months after a Booster could be around 25% compared to the unvaccinated.

Two doses give very little protection.

6M people remain unvaccinated in the UK and as many again have not had their booster; for many time is running out and perhaps up to 6,000 will die unnecessarily in coming weeks.

Recently there have been no more than 11 COVID related deaths per week in Worcestershire which has a population of 600,000 so we currently judge the risk of death for triple vaccinated Seniors to be LOW while the risk of Long COVID could be low to MODERATE .

It is likely that, despite being triple vaccinated, all Seniors will at some time or other become ill with the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Some may reasonably think there is little point in taking precautions, such as the wearing of facemasks, being happy to accept the risk of infection before the protection of the vaccines wanes. However for those hoping to avoid infection the simple safeguards to remember are to:

  • book your booster dose as soon as you are contacted by either your GP or the NHS; between five days and two weeks after the booster most people should be well protected from severe illness;

  • don't forget your flu jab;

  • look out for a second booster programme for those aged 75+ years in the spring;

  • wash your HANDS thoroughly, using soap and hot water, for 20 seconds, including after handling deliveries to your home, to kill virus picked up from contaminated surfaces (see note 1);

  • ideally wear either a well fitting FACE covering,  or FFP2 face mask when unavoidably near other people for example when in shops, theatres, health-care settings, and when using public transport;

  • SPACE at least 2 metres from people you don't feel safe with (see note 2);

  • preferably socialise with friends and other households outdoors in the FRESH AIR else, if you are indoors, either ventilate by keeping windows open as far as is practicable or put a HEPA air purifier in the room;

  • consider avoiding crowded indoor settings and minimise TIME near strangers;

  • self-isolate for up to 10 days if you unwell with cold or flu like symptoms and test COVID positive; according to the Zoe COVID Study the current top five symptoms in order of prevalence are runny nose, headache, sore throat, fatigue, and sneezing which are often hard to distinguish from a common cold - you might alternatively suffer from fever with a temperature of up to 103 deg F, and a slight reduction in sense of taste;

  • respect others and give them space.


1) Wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face to avoid transferring virus from contaminated surfaces to your mouth, eyes and nose. If outdoors use an alcohol based hand gel.

2) Two metres is further than you think - roughly an arm and a walking stick away.

3) The COVID Symptom Study people suggest that if you have symptoms of a common cold there is a fair chance you might have COVID.



This week

The media continues to be preoccupied with Russia's ill judged invasion of Ukraine and Vladimir Putin's war crimes.

The government has announced the draft terms of reference for the inquiry into the handling of the COVID pandemic; the panel is not expected to report until 2023.

Click for - UK COVID-19 Inquiry: draft terms of reference (HTML)

Funding for the Zoe COVID study may cease later in the month, but Tim Spector is hoping a way can be found to keep it going. If you think the Zoe COVID Study should continue to be funded, representations can be emailed to:-



We have been given a book by our daughter-in-law which provides a personal record of the Coronavirus Pandemic.

'The Year the World went Mad' by Professor Mark Woolhouse of Edinburgh University. It's published by Sandstone Press.

To quote from the flyleaf:

In this astonishing account, Mark Woolhouse shares his story as an insider, having served on advisory groups to both the Scottish and UK governments. He reveals the disregarded advice, frustration of dealing with politicians, and misteps that led to the deaths of vulnerable people, damage to livelihoods and the disruption of education. He explains the follies of lockdown and sets out the alternatives.

COVID video updates

Links to the Zoe COVID Study and Independent SAGE weekly updates can be found here:-

Click to watch Zoe COVID Symptom Study update on 10th March 2022 presented by Tim Spector.

Click to watch Independent SAGE update on 11th March 2022

List of vaccines

Here is the updated list of COVID-19 vaccines ordered by the UK. It looks as though for now the government has settled on Pfizer as first choice with Moderna second and Astrazeneca held in reserve.

Valneva has been cancelled, and approval has not yet been sought for using Novavax in the EU and US although approval has been sought for use in third world countries.

For two doses plus boosters, only about 200M doses will be needed in 2021 and Jan/Feb 2022 for the population of the UK. The government has now signed deals to buy 114 million additional doses of the Pfizer (54M) and Moderna (60M) vaccines to use in 2022 and 2023.

Click for press announcement - Government agrees new deals to future proof vaccine rollout in light of new variant

The press announcement goes on to say that 60M doses of Novavax vaccine are expected to be delivered in 2022 and 7.5M doses of GSK/Sanofi, so there seems no intention to cancel these late arrivals.

Click for Guardian report - Novavax expected to be become fourth Covid vaccine available in UK

COVID-19 vaccine Doses ordered (million) Status
Pfizer BioNTech, two dose, -70 deg C 40+60+35 Approved, deliveries continuing, made in Belgium (EU). An additional 60M doses have been ordered for booster shots for the most vulnerable in the autumn. A further 35M doses were ordered in August 2021 for delivery in 2022.
Astrazeneca, two dose, fridge 100 Approved for those aged 30+ years; deliveries continuing. Batches made in UK, Belgium and India.
Moderna, two dose, -20 deg C 7+10 Approved. First deliveries to Wales and Scotland 7th April 2021 then England 13th April; mainly for those aged under 50 years awaiting vaccination.
Valneva, two dose 60+40
A jab from French company Valneva will be made in Livingston, West Lothian, Scotland. Order cancelled September 2021. Delivery had been expected to start in second half of 2021.
Janssen, single dose 20 Approved, a jab from Belgian firm Janssen, owned by Johnson and Johnson; UK approval 28th May. Order reduced from 30 to 20M.
Nuvaxovid 60 A jab manufactured by US firm Novavax being made in Stockton-on-Tees UK. Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK) contracted to fill and package vials. Approved by MHRA 3rd Feb 2022. JCVI to advise how vaccine will be used.
GSK Sanofi 60 Some delay due to adjusting the formula to give better protection to the elderly; expected approval and delivery of 7.5M doses in 2022.
Curevac 50 ? Contract placed with German company Feb 2021. Possible source of new variant vaccine; disappointing trial results have resulted in the company working on a second generation vaccine. Future uncertain.

Table of vaccines ordered by the UK government


TrianglePresent rate of detected new cases

The average rate of COVID positive tests per 100,000 population per week copied from the Coronavirus Dashboard is shown in the following table.

Region  Case rate
(last week)
Case rate
(this week)
England  296 394
Wales  163 207
Scotland  830 1,150
Northern Ireland  801 812
London (region) 293 373
Worcestershire  347 423
Malvern Hills  426 492

Seven day Case Rate per 100,000 reported 11th March 2022

Cases are up this week, particularly in Scotland, where the steep rise has yet to be explained.

Note: actual infections could be 4 times the number of positive tests.

 As a yardstick we suggest a figure of below 10 can be considered LOW, so there is still a long way to go.

Back to top


How to request a COVID test

Note: much of this section is largely historical. Now the population is vaccinated the government no longer sees testing as important. The availability of PCR tests is being cut back to save money and Lateral Flow tests will no longer be free after 1st April 2022.

In order to protect others it is important to get a test and self isolate if you feel unwell with either classic COVID symptoms, or cold and flu like symptoms which can be caused by the Omicron variant.;

There are now two types of test you can get. The more accurate PCR test involving a throat and nose swab which is sent to a laboratory for analysis and the Lateral Flow Device test.

Click for government guidance on types of tests

Getting a PCR test

Click the link below for information on how to get a free NHS PCR test if you think you may have Coronavirus:


We feel the website discourages people from seeking a PCR test who don't have all the classic symptoms. If you feel strongly enough, press on answering the questions so as to get your PCR test.

In case of difficulty you can try phoning the Coronavirus contact centre by dialing 119.

Alternatively settle for a 'Nasal swab' Lateral Flow Device test in the comfort of your own home (see below).

According to Google there is a 'drive through' COVID testing station at County Hall near the Countrywide Centre, and a 'walk through' at Pershore.

There is also a COVID testing station at the Worcester Royal Hospital for screening patients before admission.

If you cannot get to these you can order a home PCR test kit.

If you test COVID positive you should ideally self-isolate for 5 days or until you feel better.

Getting a Lateral Flow Device test

Lateral Flow Device tests (LFD) can either be booked at Claremont Pharmacy in Barnards Green, Evans Pharmacy in Malvern Link, or taken at home.

The test is intended to screen those who do not show the classic symptoms of COVID-19 and provides a means to check you are 'virus free' at home - either before visiting an elderly person, going to work, or attending a crowded event.  It also provides a means to check whether or not you have Coronavirus if you are feeling poorly with cold and flu like symptoms.

COVID Lateral Flow DeviceYou can collect home test kits, for example packaged as the COVID-19 Self-Test (Rapid Antigen Test) in boxes of 7 tests, from Malvern library, the Co-op, and most pharmacies such as Boots and Murrays in Church Street, Claremont House and Lloyds in Barnards Green, Murrays at Prospect View, Evans and Murrays in Malvern Link, and Boots and Morrisons on the Enigma Retail Park.

If collecting from a pharmacy you now have to go on-line and get a collection code to present to the pharmacy in order to obtain a pack of 7 tests. This involves giving NHS Test and Trace your email and/or mobile phone number and address.


The LFD now comes in two versions.

  • The Throat and Nose Swab kit;

  • The Nose Swab only kit (Orient Gene, Acon Flowflex and MP Biomedicals).

 (Lateral Flow Device cassette shown on the right).

ACON Flowflex comes in a blue and white pack.

Orient Gene comes in a green and white pack.

MP Biomedicals come in a blue, white and grey pack.

Click for instructions for using the LFD test kits

COVID lateral flow test leaflet

Leaflet at Boots the Chemist

The new Nasal swab test kit which only requires a nose swab is the easiest to use and the best one to get but it is not yet widely available. On 10th November we found Boots in Church Street and Malvern Library were still supplying the old Throat and Nose kit; Murrays in Church Street had the new kits and Malvern library thought the library in St John's Worcester might have the new kits.

Click for NHS information on Rapid Lateral Flow Test sites and collection sites in Malvern

Hint: to see the list, click on 'filter' and then 'pick up sites for test kits' checkbox.

Click for WCC info about Lateral Flow Tests

In our opinion, many Seniors will find the classic Throat and Nose Swab home test kit difficult to use as you need to rub the tonsils or thereabouts with the swab-stick without touching the tongue, teeth, cheeks, gums or any other surface before swabbing the nose. Doing this standing in front of a mirror on your own without gagging while holding a torch in the other hand, won't be easy unless you have a steady hand and good eyesight.

The Nose Swab kit is by far the best one for testing yourself at home.

If you test COVID positive you should isolate and take a more accurate PCR test to confirm the result.

NHS Test and Trace want people to report the result of their home LFD tests within 24 hours at:


This helps NHS Test and Trace monitor where the issue of the free LFD tests is proving most effective and the spread of the disease.

However, it's tedious to enter your Lateral Flow Test result on the government website and we imagine many people now don't bother.

COVID Lateral Flow test kit

Nose swab home test kit obtained from Murrays


About the COVID Symptom Study app (Zoe)

COVID app logoYou can help others by downloading the COVID Symptom Study app onto your smart-phone or Ipad and reporting how you feel either daily, or as you are able. Note there is no desktop PC version for Windows.

For further details click this link: https://covid19.joinzoe.com

The Zoe app, which is easy to use, allows you to report whether or not you are feeling well and if you have had a test for COVID. This helps Kings College London monitor the spread and symptoms of the disease and give advice to government. This is an important source of data as we progress through the EXIT wave.

There are questions allowing you to enter your vaccine type and whether any side effects; this now includes boosters and flu jabs.


About the NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app (England)

Release of the NHS COVID-19 contact tracing app for Apple and Android smartphones was announced on 24th September 2020.

Click this link for NHS Coronavirus app information

If you have been close to someone who has tested COVID positive, your smart-phone will be pinged and you may be advised to self-isolate

Note: isolation is no longer a legal requirement.


About the NHS app and Covid Pass

An NHS COVID Pass shows your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination details and/or test results. This is your COVID-19 status. You may be asked to show your pass to travel abroad

You will need the NHS app installed on your smartphone and be registered with the NHS in order to display your vaccination status.

Note: this is not the NHS COVID-19 app

If you don't have a smartphone you should be able to login from a PC to obtain a printed copy.

Click to login from a desktop computer or laptop

You can use your NHS login when signing in to report the result of Lateral Flow Device tests taken at home; this has to be done within 24 hours.


Information about Coronavirus can be found on the NHS website:




About COVID symptoms

Article about the effects of Coronavirus on the human body


Reporting and how to obtain a test

How to get a test


About joining the Zoe COVID Symptom Study:




UK government Coronavirus guidance

COVID-19 Response: Autumn and Winter Plan 2021 for England

UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA) website


COVID Alert states

Guidance on UK COVID-19 alert level methodology: an overview

COVID-19 Alert Level lowered to 3 on 10th May 2021



Guidance on tiers: what you need to know

Government postcode checker to find tier for other areas



UK government COVID-19: Omicron daily overview

UK government Coronavirus Dashboard

Coronavirus Dashboard Interactive Map

ONS data on deaths in England and Wales (Excel spreadsheet)

NHS England COVID-19 Daily Deaths

NHS England COVID-19 Hospital Admissions

NHS England vaccination statistics

Reports on COVID intensive care beds - see intensive care national audit and research centre (ICNARC) website

Worcestershire Coronavirus Dashboard

Worcestershire COVID-19 Vaccinations Dashboard


HSA COVID-19 vaccine weekly surveillance reports

Information about NHS hospital bed numbers: past, present, future


A glimpse of the worldwide vaccination situation can be found on the Our World in Data website.

Click for chart showing % vaccinated



A forecast of the progression of the COVID-19 epidemic can be found on a University College London (UCL) website.

Click for UCL Long-term forecasting of the COVID-19 epidemic

A projection of the future COVID-19 death toll and daily deaths can be found on The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation website. 

Click for IHME projection of COVID-19 deaths



Coronavirus (COVID-19) latest insights by ONS

A live roundup of the latest data and trends about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic from the ONS and other sources.


The bigger picture

Worldometer summary of coronavirus cases worldwide

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control info


World Health Organisation info



Window on the USA

Centre for Disease Control (CDC)

CDC COVID Data Tracker

Find maps and charts tracking cases, deaths, and trends of COVID-19 in the United States.

American Association of Retired People (AARP)





Worcestershire County Council COVID-19 information:


Here you will find a useful link,

'Website: Number of new cases by date in Worcestershire'

which displays interesting COVID charts and statistics for Worcestershire

COVID Outbreak Control Plan



Spanish Flu

Dr Jeff Kildea's commentary about the 1919 outbreak of Spanish Flu in Australia


Views of Martin McKee, Professor of European Public Health

Follow Martin McKee on Twitter


SAGE membership

Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE)


Scottish government:

Link to Scottish Government website

Link to Postcode checker for COVID restrictions by protection level in areas of Scotland


Welsh Government:

Guidance on COVID alert levels in Wales


The Malvern Hills logo

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The interpretations and opinions expressed are our own